And when I walked the forest pathways

I breathed easier

Surrounded by those ancient trees

Gigantic ferns filling the space between 

Wisdom, a powerful majesty 

Offering protection, offering healing

When I walked the forest pathways

My whole being was filled

With light, and hope

and a certainty that you were safe

I wept and my heart

Filled with gratitude 

Both for the forest 

and for having walked a path

28 years with you.

RIP Cole/C/Cass/Cassandra

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I will not sleep tonight

Instead I keep a vigil

Waiting for him to come home

Waiting to tear up the missing persons report 

My son has gone missing 


Taking only his wetsuit, his backpack 

No phone, no ID, no food, no cash

I filed the police report

Then I folded his laundry

Watched ‘Community’ without him

I waited for him to come home

And so I wait still

My heart is here

It lays in pieces in all those places where he should be

Come home. 

We can fold the laundry together.

We will laugh at Troy & Abed

We can promise to never go missing

We will put the pieces back together 

Come home. 

I miss you. 

I love you.

Tonight I keep a mother’s vigil

Light a candle for us

Send him home if you see him

And tell him you love him too.

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A Death Sentence with No Chance of Parole

Mental illness is a thief
She stole his music, his intellect, his kindness
Carelessly discarded his dreams on the Bothell Highway                      
The shreds tossed in back of a police car
Shackled legs, shackled wrists, shredded identity 

Mental illness is a thief,                                      
and all the kings horses and all the kings men
Can’t put my child together again 

Mental illness is a thief, a vile criminal                
Yet my son and I serve the time            
Consecutive death sentences                                
With no chance of parole

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Across the Middle Distance

Dying slowly
Empty, devoid of fear or any feeling
Although sadness sometimes sneaks in through the locked door

I am leaving, going away from the world
Walking alone, carrying nothing, leaving nothing behind

It is lonely and cold, and dark
The path disappears behind and there is no path ahead

Emptiness explodes in my chest
Can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t scream

Bereavement fills in the spaces that love left behind
and silence surrounds the places he once occupied

My child is lost
my child is gone
and yet his form, his shell, stares at me
across the middle distance

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Dancing with Godot on Pepper Sprout Pony Kegs

The lights on the going up stairs are confused
they’re off at the bottom
they’re off at the top
which way is up
which way is down is anyone’s guess

The chaos descended, I believe,
on Saturday morning
although it seems
the chaos wasn’t noticed until Saturday evening.

I’m sure it was Saturday.
Because Friday
there was light and laughter
all was right with the stairs, the lights,
And I knew, was confident I knew,
which way was up
which way was down

Funny, but since Saturday
and the light failure and the library silence
there have been other anomalies

The music stopped playing
The coffee has refused to percolate
and no one has been holding hands

It’s limbo land
a state of suspension
like waiting for Godot
and waiting for Beckett to explain Godot
Or sifting through a dream
where it’s Friday in Jackson Town
People dance on pepper sprout pony kegs

But Godot hasn’t shown
and it’s not Jackson Town
and the lights can’t remember
which way is up
which way is down

Since Saturday
since you left

So lovely to know
you’ll be home tomorrow
restoring calm to chaos
The porch light will be on
my coffee cup will be ready
music will play
and we’ll dance with Godot
on pepper sprout pony kegs

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No Mascara

If you thought it was your last day

Your very last

You might wear a pretty red dress

You might even curl your hair

Although you might skip the mascara

You want to leave in good form

Mascara runs & you can’t be sure

Anyone can fix a sad face

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Jack Dempsey & Me

Even Jack Dempsey had to get out of the ring

He told me so, I was 10, it was New York

So here I am all these years later, taking the gloves off

Sitting in the corner
Sucking hard on ice
Trying to breathe
Bruised knuckles, battered heart
A nimble warrior
Not sure she can stand to fight another day

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I love your exclamation points!
They are you, passionate, playful!
You are not a question mark!
There can be no question of your considerable charm!
You excite me, period!
So please hurry home and exclamation me! Continue reading

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Why the World Needs The Mentally Different


Redamancy Lit

Okay. I’m not really allowed to say what I’m about to say. In public, we people who are mentally ill are supposed to hang our heads and only speak of our challenges as things we want “fixed” for fear of folks accusing us of “glamorizing” our condition. We’re supposed to declare that our way of being is dangerous and wrong and everyone else’s way is better and we are supposed to want to join the troops and fall into line. And so those who love us are confused and angry when we are resistant to getting help, to taking our meds, to being “cured.” Every other sufferer of a disease wants to get better, why don’t you?

I’ll tell you why.

Because sometimes we understand that our inability to accept and live resignedly in the world we’ve been born into is chemical and personal and that we need help integrating…

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Pretense, Public vs. Private Monikers

Friends share secrets
I am your secret.

I had thought we were lovers, best friends
Turns out you’re just a guy collecting secrets

So on this Memorial Day let us take leave
of pretense, of the notion of public versus private monikers
Let’s let that cat slip straight out of the bag

I am not a secret
Or to be accurate, I am now your ex-secret

Please leave the key to my heart on the counter
Then leave me as gently and as tenderly
as I had imagined your love for me.

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